The Yellow Wallpaper And The Virgin Suicides Analysis

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Narrative Voice in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Virgin Suicides”
Both “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Virgin Suicides” are told in first-person. The former, singular and the latter, plural. While the stories themselves are different in terms of plot and content, the narrative used is actually very similar, and the narrators share similar characteristics and patterns through their respective stories. Both of the narrators in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Virgin Suicides” suffer from a neurosis of sorts, adding effectiveness to which the reader understands the story. The two narrators experience severe obsessive tendencies, talk about events that cause them to go back to a more immature state of mind, and both are ambiguous about themselves.
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In The Virgin Suicides, there is no character development of the narrators, as they serve solely to retell the story to the readers, even if they throw in their own opinions here and there. Therefore, there is no real need for the reader to know who the boys really are, as long as they can explain to us the story of the Lisbon girls. This just helps the reader get a side of the story that’s relatively unbiased, since it’s not from the Lisbon girls themselves. This is contrary to The Yellow Wallpaper, where the ambiguity of the narrator actually adds an important element to the story: mystery. We never find out the name of the narrator, nor much of her background, history, or even what is to become of her once the story is over. The only clues we get are from slight mentions by herself, her husband, her sister-in-law and from a single line spoken near the end of the story: “‘I’ve got out at last,” said I, ‘in spite of you and Jane?’…” (Gilman, 656). This line could possibly mention her name, however, it could also be a misprint of her sister-in-law’s name, Jennie, but it could also be our final clue into who she was before her spiral into madness through her time in the rest

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